• Artificial intelligence and the future of work

    DATE: 04/30/2024

    Published by: Horiens

    Get ready to expand your horizons. With the advance of artificial intelligence (AI), especially generative AI, there is no other way. This type of technology is already a reality, but what we see in our daily lives is only a glimpse of what is to come.

    The topic was practically omnipresent at the 2024 edition of the famous global innovation event South by Southwest (SXSW), held in March. Understandable and important, as the topic carries with it admiration and (good) expectations, but also a series of (relevant) doubts and fears.


    But what is generative AI?

    It’s basically the most advanced stage of artificial intelligence to date. This means that generative intelligences can go beyond conventional machine learning: they can learn for themselves.

    Yes, in practice they can create new information such as stories, images, texts, videos and music from what they have learned by identifying patterns and grouping pre-existing data in the most diverse formats!

    This is different from non-generative AI, in which a large amount of data or examples is used to “train” a model in order to perform specific tasks.

    Faced with the advent of generative AI, translated into applications such as the iconic ChatGPT, as well as Midjourney, DALL-E, among others, we can’t help but think about the future of work, can we?


    Answers under construction

    I believe that a good way to get into this subject is to think about the effects of this technology on everyday life.

    What place will generative AI take in our daily lives? Will it be a kind of virtual assistant supporting us humans in making decisions, with its knowledge created from zillions of data available in the cloud? Will we have mini portable brains at our disposal on a large scale that learn with us?

    Is the information created by these models free of biases or do they end up incorporating patterns, stereotypes and prejudices that are structurally based on the data?

    What about security, data privacy, ethics and responsibility? What about verifying the authenticity of messages, given the realism of AI-generated images and videos, as well as the speed with which they are developed?

    Are machine creations superior to ours? Considering that generative AI is capable of “replacing” human reasoning and creativity, because that’s what we’re talking about, what will become of work in the not-so-distant future? What will we have left? What exits will we find?

    It’s true that machine intelligence comes to remove bureaucracy, optimize processes and increase productivity, and that’s wonderful. Imagine how much development we will be able to promote in the most diverse areas.

    But with generative AI, the topic has even more potential for impact and transformation, so it’s important to reflect on the following: what do we really want as a society?

    I believe the way forward will always be to combine the human eye with the efficiency of machines, but don’t go too fast, technology, because we still have a lot of answers to build!


    Embracing changes in the job market

    As professionals who are experiencing the growing involvement of technology in decision-making and in our lives, we must be more planful and adaptable than ever.

    We need to have a growth mindset, be open to new experiences and willing to overcome the learning curve in order to use this tool for our professional tasks and goals. That’s keeping up with the spirit of the times, of our times.

    To the different generations currently in the job market: get along, collaborate with each other. We’re all in the same boat, we’re actually generation T, of transition, as futurist Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, said in her panel at this year’s SXSW.

    With the improvement of production processes through the use of artificial intelligence, professions should naturally change, allowing people to focus on tasks of greater value to companies and society, such as communicating, making decisions and exploring creativity and innovation on another level.

    It’s not enough for companies to invest in technology, they need to look at people, because they are the ones dealing with this transformation scenario. According to Gartner, more than 80% of companies will incorporate APIs and generative AI models by 2026. There is no doubt that the combination of technologies such as 5G, virtual reality and AI will transform the way people work.

    For this reason, working on digital literacy in corporate environments is fundamental, both so that teams can develop technical skills and so that they can develop critical thinking to lead the transition to a more advanced level of technology use.

    We can say that we are facing yet another transformative moment in human history. If used well, machine intelligence can help us create a promising future in the most diverse spheres of life, including the professional sphere.

    What do you make of this?

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